Vermicompost Tea

Research has shown that vermicompost tea helps plants to be healthier. There are different ways to make vermicompost tea. I'm listing the Easy Way and the Scientific Way. People have terrific results with the Easy Way especially good for watering a few houseplants, seedlings, or a few pots. If you need a lot of tea I recommend the Scientific Way.

The Quick & Easy Way 

The Scientific Way

Following are notes I took about vermicompost tea at the 2011 Vermiculture Conference in Las Vegas. The conference had many speakers who have been involved with or researched vermiculture for years including Dr. Norman Arancon who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. 

Preparation:

Mix 1 part vermicompost with 4 parts of water. For example: 1 quart vermicompost and 4 quarts water

Method 1 – Constantly agitate for 24 hours using a tea maker (bubbler) or some other form of agitation.

Method 2 – Let the mix sit in a bucket for 7 days and stir once a day.

Strain mixture. I like to use a 5 gallon paint strainer bag. (You only need to strain the tea if you will be spraying it on your plants. If your just watering your plants you don’t have to strain the tea) 

Dilute to a 5% concentration. If using above example you would add 19 quarts water, which would give you almost 5 gallons of vermicompost tea.

Application:
 

Water or spray plants with tea as needed. Water plants if they look healthy. If they show signs of fungus or insect attacks then spray leaves (spray bottom of leaves as good as possible) Apply vermicompost tea every 7 – 14 days.

NOTE: Research has shown that microbe levels in vermicompost tea stored at 45 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 14 days remain high. After 14 days the levels fall right off.

NOTE: If applying to fruits or vegetables wait 7 days before eating.

NOTE: If you have chlorinated water then let water sit for 24 hours so that chlorine will dissipate.

NOTE: Vermicompost tea helps make your plants healthier so that they can suppress insect and fungal attacks. The tea itself does not affect disease or insect control.

Tea Time in the Tropics is a 70 page handbook for compost tea production and use. It is edited by Theodore Radovich and Norman Arancon and filled with tea making information. To  view or for free download search Tea Time in the Tropics. It was funded through SARE - Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education.  

Mike & Tina in Las Vegas for Vermiculture Conference